Strategic Technology Positioning Risks

Patrick McConnell

This chapter will examine strategic technology positioning risks, and specifically at the risks that arise when a business strategy is not fully supported by its technology strategy. It will also discuss strategic IT value and the identification and assessment of strategic IT risks. The importance of embedding IT strategy firmly within business strategy when considering strategic options will be explored, and a model for assessing strategic IT risks is described.


Before considering the mechanics of identifying strategic technology positioning risks, the key concept of strategic IT value must be described. Regardless of whether an IT strategy is aligned with (Henderson and Venkatraman, 1993), or embedded in, a business strategy (as described in Chapter 3), the role that IT will play in achieving business objectives must be considered. The question “how exactly will IT help achieve strategic objectives?” is often rephrased as “what value does IT bring to the organisation?” The topic of IT value has long been discussed in IT circles (such as by Read, 2009) and in the development of the so-called “Val-IT” standard (ISACA, 2008), which is considered to be an

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